Duke v Wake Forest
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The scene following Wake Forest's 83-79 win over Duke on Saturday has provided endless hours of debate, calls for reform and hot takes throughout the sports world. Even if court-storming Demon Deacons fans hadn't collided with Duke star Kyle Filipowski, the madness still would have been troubling to a growing contingent calling for reforms and the eradication of court-storming from college basketball.

There have been other notable court-storming incidents this season, including one that resulted in Iowa women's basketball megastar Caitlin Clark being knocked to the floor. Tulane also decided to open an "investigation" into a fan who appeared to strike a Memphis player.

But the visual of Filipowski being helped off the floor by his teammates on Saturday -- and the subsequent slow-motion videos of what happened -- amounted to a dose of lighter fluid on the court-storming conversation. Amid all the other issues in college sports, somehow the age-old tradition of home students running onto the floor after a big win has become something of a crisis.

So where should we go from here? Our writers offered their takes on the situation for this week's Dribble Handoff.

Court-stormings should end and it's easy to do

The most confusing thing I've encountered since this debate restarted Sunday is that some otherwise intelligent people seem to think it's impossible, or at least really difficult, to stop court-stormings.

Because it's not.

It's actually simple.

You don't need a million security guards, big yellow ropes, a moat around the court or anything like that. You just need rules/laws and a clear set of punishments for violators. Like I explained on Sunday's episode of the Eye on College Basketball podcast, all a school has to do, if it really wants to stop these undeniably dangerous and unnecessary events from happening, is announce to the world that nobody not connected with either program participating is allowed on the playing surface immediately following the game, and that anybody who violates this will be arrested the same way a person who jumps onto a NFL field or MLB field would be arrested. Sure, I'm certain some people somewhere would test it. That's fine. As long as the school then follows through as it stated it would, those people would then quickly learn that testing this new policy is a bad idea, and then the message would also be sent to the rest of your students.

Problem solved.

It really is that easy, if you want it to be. And, yes, we should all want it to be because I don't care how much "fun" storming a court is, the inherent risks that come along with it simply aren't worth it. If you wanna compromise and tell students they can come on the court to celebrate after a big win, but only after a shot clock that's set to 60 seconds at the final buzzer expires, that way the opposing team has ample time to get to the locker room before finding themselves in an uncomfortable crowd of people, that's fine with me, I guess. I don't personally need it. But if that's the compromise, I could live with it.

Either way, we cannot keep doing this the way we've been doing it.

That's my main point.

In my opinion, we should've ended this decades ago. But if the people in power don't actually want to go that far, then they need to at least take precautions to ensure court-stormings unfold differently. Otherwise, I'll see you back here next year, and we can do this entire song and dance all over again. -- Gary Parrish

Make the winning team forfeit

Do I love court-storming? Yes. Have I done it before? Yes. But is it an incredibly dangerous ritual that risks the safety of players and coaches? Absolutely, yes! Banning it altogether seems the only real solution to fixing this problem. Not only are players at risk of being injured, as Filipowski was, but the odds of being trampled over or crushed in the crowd are worrying enough to rid the practice entirely. You could put a timer for fans to wait out before storming to allow the court to be cleared, but seriously, are we sure fans are going to follow instructions? I am highly skeptical. Wake fans were on the court storming vs. Duke before time expired. You're just inviting more chaos by allowing it with restrictions. 

The only way to keep it from happening would be to incentivize programs so substantially that it would prevent it from happening entirely. Now, maybe fines are useful in that regard, maybe not -- schools so far have paid fines as they come and many seem happy to do so for such a big moment. So, best I can tell, the easiest way to prompt change would be to cause the winning team to forfeit. 

Yes, that is harsh, and no, I don't think it is particularly fair. But I can guarantee you schools would not be messing around and risking forfeiting wins. 

Solutions to prevent court-storming are not one-size-fits-all -- it might make sense to add security at some places and to add fencing at other places, for instance -- but if schools know they're going to be punished by having a win taken away from it, I'd wager it would stop in its place and court-storming would cease as we know it. -- Kyle Boone

Let's not go overboard

Sure, there are a few practical measures that need to be taken to ensure the safety of opposing teams in these situations. And college basketball fans need to raise their standards on determining what type of win actually merits a court-storming. But we can take practical steps toward safety without sacrificing college basketball's passion and student-oriented pageantry. 

The argument of "this never happens in the NBA because of the deterrence structure in professional sports" is deeply flawed. Warnings about entering the court at most NBA arenas are nothing more than cursory obligations easy for 90% of fans to miss or tune out. The reason there aren't court-stormings after NBA games isn't because people are afraid of the consequences. It's because there aren't hundreds of rabid, 18-to-22 year-old fans seated together right next to the floor. The people sitting near the court at NBA games are generally wealthy, and they skew much older than college-age. Occasionally, they are verbally abusive. But in what world would the affluent professionals with prime NBA seating ever consider storming the court? Franchises can barely get them to chant "defense" in semi-unison during the fourth quarter of a close game.

College basketball's beauty is in the fact that fans would care enough to rush the floor in the first place. Its beauty is in the fact that schools haven't already booted their entire student sections to the upper deck. After all, they could use those seats to solicit $3,000 "seat license" donations from wealthy alumni in exchange for the mere right to purchase season tickets. Actually, maybe that is the solution. Let's just go one step further down the road of professionalizing college sports and boot the freeloading students altogether. There is money to be made! While we're at it, can we get rid of the pep bands, too? I mean, for crying out loud, NBA teams don't have pep bands! -- David Cobb

Court-stormings will never end

Fans storming the court in mass numbers can be extremely dangerous and injuries aren't the only bad thing that can come from it. Court-stormings can result in confrontations between students and athletes. A majority of the time, that results in bad things happening.

But let's be honest, people will keep storming the court whether people like it or not. Good luck stopping hundreds of college-aged kids from running onto the court after their school knocked off a highly-ranked team.

Field stormings, in my opinion, are safer than kids running onto the court because of how much more room there is to operate. Yes, basketball courts have significantly fewer fans than a college stadium per se, but there's more room to run around. Again, bad things have happened when fans have stormed the field, but it's less of a safety risk than hundreds of people running full speed at players trying to exit the court.

As the youngest person on this panel, I have witnessed field- and court-storms far less than my colleagues. I did see one on October 22, 2022, with my own eyes. Sacramento State was playing Montana in a game on national TV. The Hornets rallied from a 10-point deficit in the final moments for one of the biggest wins in school history - resulting in fans storming the field. There were probably more middle-aged adults running around that field than college-aged students, but people still talk about it. It's a memory I know a lot of people will remember for a long time.

There are fines (and potential consequences) in place for stuff like this not to happen and fans still elect to storm the court/field. I doubt they will go away anytime soon. -- Cameron Salerno